>So what to work on now

>

Now that I have (gratefully) taken my post-NaNo break, I’m ready to start writing again; however, this is the first time in many a year I desire to write with a purpose. You see, I posted a list the Year of Doing Big, Fun, Scary things forum, and on this list involves two primary goals:

Completing my 2009 novel, and completing my 2008 novel. I’d like to complete the 2008 novel for CreateSpace’s free proof offer for NaNo winners. I’ve missed this offer (or the similar one from Lulu) every year, and dangit, I want this book in my hands, even if not published yet, for sheer vanity’s sake.

Now, I’m struggling with the desire to finish my2007 novel, Heaven’s Bounty. It’s such a GOOD story, and now I’ve finally figured out where I want to go with it, after letting it sit for a year or two.

This is why I’m not a published author yet. It has nothing to do with the quality of my work; I’m convinced that my prose is as good or better than anything you’ll see in Barnes and Noble. It’s the fact that I don’t finish novels, and therefore am unable to submit them for consideration.

So that’s my goal for the coming year: to complete a minimum of one manuscript, and polish it well enough for submission to agents.

Not a publisher, mind you; Like Editorial Ass, I believe firmly in the power of agents to help authors in more ways than just finding a good editor.

But to do this, I have to not only finish a novel, but polish it well enough to put through my critique group, and then polish is MORE into perfection.

But now my dilemma is I have multiple novels that I want to work on. I’m going to finish them all, but in what order?

What I have:

1) My first love, my original. The Story that Had to be Written. I’m currently working on handwriting the second draft, which I’ll then transcribe into the computer. This is the one I’d like to have for the CreateSpace offer.

2) The sequel to the previous one; I know, I know. In all fairness, I HAVE finished the first one, when I was 15 or 16… I know how the first one ends.

3) This year’s. This one is the one about the widow who ends up as a Queen, and then has to take her husband’s assassinated soul, memory, and skills and avenge his death and take back his kingdom. It’s FUN, but it’s lying fallow again, victim of 50k disease. Mortos Rex.

4) 2007’s novel, Heaven’s Bounty. It’s a sci-fi piece about a winged bounty hunter who is captured, wing-clipped, and raped (dark stuff) and set free by her friends, then seeks to find the source of her deceased captor’s freakish shapeshifting powers, powers her love also seems to possess. This one is so much fun, and the voices for all those characters have started up in my head.

5) Of course, Double Edged Sword, though a good chunk of it has gone missing. That’s a hard one to write though, and when I get back to it, it’s going to be like pulling teeth. Good story, just delicate work.

I dunno. I’m going to work on them all… but which first? My bones tell me I need to finish this year’s novel FIRST. It’s what’s most recent in my mind, and dammit, it would be nice to finish a NaNo novel the same year I started it.

But Heaven is calling…

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>Picking up the pace again

>My NaNoWriMo Progress

After hitting a sluggish spot, I had to do a little reworking to get things moving again. After renaming the character, I did a major shift in the action in that dragging, boring scene, and then terminated it, and jumped to the next chapter and scene mercilessly.

It seems to be working. I want my curve back to pointing at the sky, dagnabit! Not to mention, one of my fellow local wrimos has caught up to me not once, but twice! That is just not going to fly. So tomorrow, I’m devoted to getting a much more comfortable margin between us than the paltry thousand or few hundred we’ve been having. I would have had more tonight, but OpenOffice crashed on me for no apparent reason and I lost around 1,500 words. I did manage to get a screencap of some of it before the program terminated, so it was just retyping, but I’d have a much higher count if not for that. Ah well. I’m a compulsive saver and backer-upper.

Just moved up the plot a bit, have introduced a major villain and set Auriel on his path.

Let’s get this party rolling!

>Renaming a major character

>I’m 17,500 words in, and suddenly realized that I hated one of my main character’s names. I mean, really hated it. Not that it was a bad name, I just didn’t like it for this character.

So, even though it’s being read as I type (I post the day’s progress in a locked journal post for a limited audience), I changed his name. And I like the one I chose.

I also did a nice jerking redirection of the scene’s action, because I was BORED.

This is one of the greatest things I have learned from NaNoWRiMo. When things aren’t working? CHANGE THEM. So what if it’s a complete 360 from the previous paragraph. You can fix it when the first draft is done.

So, my story just got a wrenching change. And I feel motivated all of a sudden.

NOw, I’ve got less than three hours before Heroes, so I’d better get writing.

>NaNoWriMo – Heaven’s Bounty

>Hola, dear readers!

Yes, of course I’m doing NaNo this year… duh. My word count for day two ended at 11,296… I’d say I’m off to a good start.

I have been doing a little handwriting… I must admit it feels good to have ink on my hands again. The end result is better, too. I positive edit (adding, not taking away) while transcribing, and I have more time to think about what I’m writing, since I write much slower than I type.

This year’s nano started out as a fantasy, but decided it was a science fiction story. Gengineered animal-people, a winged bounty hunter, and shapeshifting mutants which threaten the world… it’s fun already, and I adore my main character. Here’s the blurb I wrote in my planning notebook:

Auriel Shiftal must use every resource at her disposal to find the source of the power that one held her captive in torture. With the aid of her half-tiger partner and a man she wants to love but cannot trust, she will uncover the secrets that once felled the most powerful nation on earth… and may do so again!

It’s set in the far future, in a post-governmental collapse New Atlanta… a sprawling urban center that really did devour the countryside and suburbs around it to make a massive megacity that stretches from horizon to horizon.

It’s got a few standard sci-fi elements, but I’m really enjoying the characters so far.

If you care to track my progress, here’s my profile… web site widgets haven’t been released yet, since the site has been dealing with significant traffic slowdowns since October.